Effects Inspiration: 7 creative hardware reverbs and delays
When it comes to out-there space effects, the digital realm might be where the most cutting-edge technology is, but there’s still a lot to be said for having a hardware version in your toolbox. Here are some inspiring options
Strymon El Capistan £268
US brand Strymon’s stompboxes offer digital emulations of classic reverb and delay hardware. El Capistan focusses on tape echo, with three varieties of machine onboard, each with three variations. This is easily one of the most authentic sounding tape emulations we’ve heard. The only major downside is its single mono input: it’s aimed more at guitarists than studio use.
Korg Monotron Delay £43
The Monotron Delay is a compact, rough-and-ready hardware device that pairs a single oscillator with an analogue filter and delay. Its minijack input allows external audio to be processed through the effect, making it a fantastic cheap option for gritty, authentic analogue processing. The filter comes from the MS-20, and is gritty as hell, the delay is simple but can be wild and dub-tastic!
Eventide H9 from £356
Eventide’s H9 can be loaded with a host of algorithms and presets sourced from across the company’s back catalogue of products. That means you can get basic ‘verbs and delays, but also classic Harmonizers, out-there pitch effects and more. Yes, it’s all digital – and you can get many of these sounds as plugins – but having it hardware form is a great way to take the strain off your CPU.
Electro-Harmonix Cathedral/Canyon, £204/£136
EHX are a reliable source of creative stompboxes. Cathedral and Canyon are both great studio options. The former is a stereo reverb/ delay offering emulations of classic plate, room, hall, spring, reverse and echo effects. Canyon, meanwhile, is a delay/looper with cool reverse and shimmer modes: it’s mono, but we love how it sounds on monosynths!
Moog Minifooger MF-Delay, £180
BBD (Bucket-Brigade Device) delays remain one of the most sought-after types of analogue hardware effect around. A shortage of the necessary chips may have brought an end to Moog’s bigger MF104m delay units, but the more affordable Minifooger still offers a similar flavour of killer analogue delay. Again, this is mono, but the addition of a Drive control for adding grit is a really great touch.